SINGAPORE (July 15): Two weeks ago, minority shareholders of Challenger Technologies and Indofood Agri Resources (IndoAgri) rebuffed low-ball offers from the controlling shareholders of those companies. Now, the regulation arm of the Singapore Exchange has introduced long-awaited changes to rules related to voluntary delistings that could make it harder for dominant shareholders to take their companies private without properly compensating minority investors.

But would these changes have lowered the risk of minority investors of Challenger and IndoAgri being squeezed out? The answer is yes, and no.

On July 11, SGX said that exit offers in conjunction with voluntary delistings must henceforth be both fair and reasonable. It added that it will work with relevant industry bodies to develop guidance and standards for independent financial advisers (IFA) and their opinions. In addition, offerors and their concert parties must now abstain from voting on voluntary delisting resolutions. In order to pass, these resolutions will now require the support of 75% of the shares held by independent shareholders present and voting.

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